Hereditary Ending Explained & Film Analysis

In 2018, the first feature film by American director Ari Aster, Hereditary, was released. Despite the fact that the tape was shot in the genre of horror films, the meaning of the plot in the film Hereditary has nothing to do with the usual entertaining horror. Hereditary: meaning, summary, ending of the film

The unusual presentation of the plot leaves a lot of questions and makes the viewer think about what he saw on the screen for a long time. A detailed analysis of the storyline will help to get answers to some questions.

Summary of the film Hereditary

The picture begins with the funeral of an elderly woman named Ellen. The funeral is attended by relatives of the deceased – daughter Annie Graham with her husband and children. From the obituary, it becomes clear that Ellen had been ill for a long time before her death, so she lived in her daughter’s house.

The initial frames at first glance seem to be the most ordinary, but after a closer acquaintance with the family of the deceased heroine of the film Hereditary, the meaning of the plot takes on an ominous shade.

Members of the Graham family:

  • Annie is a miniaturist, suffers from sleepwalking;
  • Steve – Annie’s husband, a psychiatrist;
  • Peter is the eldest son, an introverted teenager who smokes weed;
  • Charlie – the youngest daughter, a rather unpleasant outwardly girl with a strange character – never cries, does not show emotions, loves to tear off the heads of birds.

In addition, rather strange information about the past of the family becomes known. Many years ago, Annie’s father died by starving himself to death. Then the elder brother Charles hanged himself, accusing his mother before his death of trying to “shove other people into him.” Annie herself, during one of the bouts of sleepwalking, nearly killed her children by trying to burn them.

The death of Charlie

Some time after the funeral, Peter goes to a party. His mother lets him go on one condition – to take his younger sister with him. The boy is not very pleased, but is forced to obey.

The party ends tragically. Charlie, who is allergic to nuts, eats a piece of cake that contains the allergen. The girl becomes ill, she suffocates.

Peter, putting his sister in the car, rushes to the hospital. On the way, a gasping Charlie sticks her head out of the window and immediately loses it, bumping into a pole. A mysterious sign is inscribed on the pillar. A similar symbol could be seen during the funeral on a medallion belonging to the deceased Ellen.

A teenager who has fallen into prostration, returning home, does not tell his parents anything. The next morning, Annie discovers her daughter’s headless corpse.

Hunt for Peter

After the death of her daughter, Annie falls into depression, from which she tries to find a way out in the society of people who have lost loved ones.

Having gone to a group meeting, the heroine in the parking lot meets a certain Joan, who allegedly lost her son and grandson. A woman teaches Annie how to conduct a séance to communicate with Charlie’s spirit.

The heroine tries to call the spirit of her daughter at home, forcing her husband and son to attend the session. After that, Peter begins to hallucinate.

Steve learns about the disappearance of his mother-in-law’s corpse from the grave, but hides it from his wife. Later, a decapitated corpse is found in the attic of the Graham home. Annie herself, sorting out her mother’s things, finds out that she was a member of the cult of the evil spirit Paimon.

Interesting! Among occultists, Paimon is considered the ninth spirit, subordinate to Lucifer. Appears in the form of a man with a male body and a female head.

Having learned that the demon inhabits the bodies of men, the heroine realizes that her son Peter can become this person. This is confirmed by the spirit of Charlie, drawing a dead brother in a notebook.

Annie searches the house and finds her mother’s corpse in the attic. Having shown the find to her husband, the heroine asks him to burn her daughter’s notebook. But Steve, deciding that Annie has lost her mind, refuses. The heroine tries to burn the notebook in the fireplace, the fire covers Steve and he burns out.

But Annie fails to save her son. The demon that possessed her begins to haunt the boy.

In order to take over Peter’s body, Annie, under Paimon’s power, cuts off her own head. The boy tries to escape by jumping out of the window.

The young man does not break to death, but only loses consciousness, and the demon manages to move into him. After regaining consciousness, the young man sees Joan, beheaded mother, Charlie and other members of the cult, welcoming him.

What is the meaning of the movie Hereditary

Hereditary is a complex film, containing many references, symbols that are interpreted in different ways. Of course, in the film Hereditary, the meaning of the plot can be interpreted literally – the members of the sect worship a demon seeking to capture the human body, he succeeds and Hell wins.

But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that under the guise of classic horror lies a real family drama. And references to the genetic predisposition of the film’s characters to mental illness completely change the meaning of the plot of “Hereditary”.

Then everything supernatural that happens in the picture is only the fruit of a sick imagination, and Paimon is not a real demon, but a metaphor – a symbol of evil passing from one generation to another.

Interesting! The original title of the film is Hereditary, which in a more accurate translation means heredity.

What is the essence of the ending

The creators of Hereditary – 2018 gradually bring the viewer to the denouement, revealing the meaning of the film closer to the end.

It turns out that Annie did not want to have her first child, but her mother Ellen insisted on having a grandson. This means that the boy was already destined to be the bearer of Paimon from birth. And the cultists eventually achieve their goal by destroying the Graham family and placing the demon inside Peter.

This ending is very different from most films. Usually heroes triumph over evil, and if they lose, it is only because of their own mistakes. But in Hereditary, heroes don’t have freedom of choice. Whatever they do, everything is predetermined and it is impossible to be saved.

But if we consider “Hereditary” not from the point of view of horror, but as a film about trauma, then the meaning of the ending can be interpreted differently. Peter, who has been feeling a lot of guilt over Charlie’s death, changes completely. The young man is sure that he must go through the same suffering as his sister. Therefore, he punishes himself, and the punishment is … Hereditary.

The brainchild of Ari Aster can be attributed to the intellectual metaphorical horror. Therefore, from whatever point of view the meaning of “Hereditary” – 2018 is interpreted, you will have to watch the film carefully, delving into the smallest details.

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